Ever thought about trying to see the best of New York City in just one day? It sounds crazy, but if you do it right, you can see some of the best sites the city has to offer and still get back home before the weekend is over. If you are like many, you may want to add on a day at the end of a business trip or stop through the city while on the East coast vacation. Either way, visiting the city for a day can provide you a taste of what it has to offer and hopefully you will be back later for more. NYC is a glorious and vibrant city and the best way to see it is just to start walking.

Where To Stay

If you are in town for only a day and night, try staying near Times Square. It is loud, bright, and many of the hotel rooms are tiny, little, but you are in the very middle of it all. Yes, you may pay a premium price, but it is just for a night after all. Check into your room, drop your bags and hit the streets.

Traveling Around

One of the best things about NYC is the subway. Yes, you have probably heard about troubles and problems, but for the most part, the NYC subway system is efficient and safe. Between walking and the trains, you can see almost everything you could ever want. It is obvious that you cannot see everything in just a day, so here are some recommendations.

World Trade Center Site

The World Trade Center Site is the 9/11 Memorial and is something very visitor to the city should see. The memorial honors the thousands of lives lost during 9/11 and did not cost anything to visit. There is also a 9/11 Memorial Museum, which has a small entry fee. The Memorial includes fountains that lie in the footprint of the Twin Towers. A grove of trees surrounds them. The entire Memorial is a powerful living memory and can spark some thoughtful conversation.

Times Square

If you took our advice and were staying near Times Square, this is an easy walk. Known for its great neon lights and building great advertisements, Times Square is an unbelievable sensory experience. No matter what time of day you visit, you are sure to see a cavalcade of characters wherever you turn. There is also a myriad is shops along each side, including one of the largest Toys R Us stores in the world.


Of course, a visit to New York is never complete without a visit to a Broadway plan. After visiting Times Square, hit the box offices of whatever production takes your fancy and ask if there are any seats available for shows that day. Often, there will be singles or doubles available which were either not bought or not picked up. As long as you are comfortable sitting alone, you may be able to see a Broadway show for next to nothing.

China Town

Either before or after you take in a play, check out ChinaTown. While walking down narrow, crowded streets, you will see vendors selling some of the most exotic items you may ever see. If you are adventurous, stop at one of the food stalls and try something new. If not, only choose one of the many small, family-owned restaurants and enjoy one of the best meals you will ever have. Be sure and take some time to stop by Columbus Park where you can enjoy traditional Chinese music played almost all the time.

Rockefeller Center

Depending upon the date of year you visit NYC, visiting Rockefeller Center is a great experience. It is probably its most beautiful during the holiday season when the huge Christmas Tree is lighted and standing in the Center. It can get very crowded during the holidays, so this attraction may take a bit longer than others although you can do it part of your walking tour and stop and take pictures.

To take in New York City in a day, make your plan and see the sites that are important to you. You cannot do it all, but you can see the best the City has to offer and then plan a return trip to see the rest.